There's something magical about a recipe that weaves together the threads of family memories, tradition, and the simple joy of baking. The Meringue Farmer Cheese Cake isn't just a dessert; it's a piece of my heart, a cherished gift from the past that connects me to the soulful kitchen of my great-aunt Tante Anicuta in Fagaras, Transylvania.
This recipe, lovingly mailed to me by my mom many years ago, brings back the laughter, the warmth, and the unmistakable aroma of baking that filled my summers in Romania. It's more than food; it's a narrative of love, nostalgia, and the art of making something truly special from the simplest ingredients.
Doing some research, I found out that the recipe also goes by the name "Angel's Tears" cake. The name "Angel's Tears" comes from the characteristic drops of melted sugar that form on the surface of the cake, resembling tears, which occur about an hour after baking.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
This Meringue Farmer Cheese Cake is a tender homage to my Romanian roots, a celebration of texture, taste, and the timeless beauty of cooking with intention. Each layer of this cake, the buttery crust, the creamy farmer cheese filling, and the light meringue, tells a story of resourcefulness, of making every ingredient count.
My great-aunt Anicuta, who loved to bake, believed in the magic of food to bring people together, and this cake is a testament to her philosophy. It's a recipe that doesn't just feed the body but nourishes the soul, reminding us of the importance of heritage, the value of simplicity, and the joy of sharing a piece of home with those we love.
- Crust: All-purpose flour, Granulated sugar, Baking powder, Salt, Unsalted butter, Egg yolks, Sour cream, Vanilla extract
- Farmer Cheese Filling: Farmer cheese or ricotta cheese, Granulated sugar, Vanilla extract, Lemon zest, Egg yolks
- Meringue: Egg whites, Granulated sugar
- Farmer Cheese: Can be replaced with ricotta cheese for a similar texture and taste.
Learn how to make your own homemade Farmer Cheese. You will be amazed at how easy it is!
How to make
Step 1. Prepare the crust: Preheat oven to 350F. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Work in cold butter, then add egg yolks, sour cream, and vanilla to form a crumbly dough. (You can also use a food processor for this step). Press into a baking pan and bake for 20 minutes. (The crust will be only half-baked at this point).
Step 2. Add the filling: Mix farmer cheese, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest, and egg yolks. Spread this mixture over the half-baked crust.
Step 3. Top with meringue: Whip egg whites to stiff peaks, gently fold in sugar, and spread over the filling.
Step 4. Bake again: Until the meringue is golden and the cake passes the toothpick test. Cool before serving.
- Ensure the butter is cold for the crust to achieve a sandy texture.
- Beat the meringue to stiff peaks without overmixing; the sugar should add a slight crunch.
- Let the cake cool completely to set the layers before cutting for clean slices.
How To Serve This Meringue Farmer Cheese Cake
Serve this delightful cake cut into squares alongside a cup of Turkish coffee for an authentic experience that transports you to the heart of Transylvania.
How To Store
This cake keeps well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days. Ensure it's brought to room temperature before serving to best enjoy its flavors.
You can freeze the cake for up to 3 months without compromising its quality and taste. Wrap the fully cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and let stand at room temperature briefly before serving.
Yes, cottage cheese is a fine substitute, though you may want to drain any excess liquid for the best texture.
The meringue should be golden brown on top, and the cake should feel firm to the touch.
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Meringue Farmer Cheese Cake
- 3¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup unsalted butter 11 tablespoons
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons vanilla
Farmer Cheese Filling:
- 1 pound Farmer Cheese or ricotta cheese
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- lemon zest from one lemon
- 2 egg yolks
- 4 egg whites
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Note: The recipe calls for 4 eggs that will need to be separated (2 egg yolks will go to make the dough, 2 egg yolks will go inside of the farmers cheese filling, and the 4 egg whites will make the meringue)
- Preheat oven to 350F.
To make the crust:
- Mix flour, salt, sugar, baking powder together.
- Add cubed cold butter and work it into the flour mixture with your fingers. You should have a sandy mixture. (Note: you can use a food processor and pulse a few times to obtain the same texture)
- Add egg yolks, sour cream, and vanilla and incorporate them into the dough. It will still be a little bit crumbly.
- In a 9x13 baking pan, spread the dough equally with your fingers and press it down.
- Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven. The crust is only half baked at this point.
Make the filling:
- Mix all the ingredients for the farmer's cheese filling, then spread the mixture over the crust.
Make the meringue:
- Beat the four egg whites until stiff and add the sugar. Do not overmix. You still need to taste the crunchiness of the sugar in your meringue.
- Spread the egg whites over the other farmer cheese layer and bake the cake at 350F for another 20 minutes.
- The meringue has to be golden brown, and the cake has to pass the toothpick test inside.
- Let it cool and serve it cut in squares with a cup of Turkish coffee.